Sunday, August 28, 2011

Finally Furnished Apartment

While our furnishings are not finalized we have finally reached a critical point where our apartment looks and feels like an apartment, and not a big open room. I used a very interesting app called Photosynth from Microsoft to take a panorama. The only downfall was that I was unable to capture the refrigerator in my panorama image!

Some of the highlights are the kitchen table, which is a nice wooden table. Behind it you can see the kitchen area with a sink and some cupboards and storage. Then there is a glimpse of the bathroom and some shelves we have assembled to store things.

Next you can peek into the bedroom, and next to the bedroom door is our couch. The couch is very nice, and we have a shelf next to it as an end-table as well as a nice coffee table we can use to rest our feet. I also like to sit on the floor and use the coffee table as a desk. Behind the coffee table you can see the veranda. Out on the veranda we dry laundry and there is a small room to the right that houses the washing machine.

Finally we come to the desk, where we are able to sit and work. It can get a little cold because the air conditioner is right above the desk. The desk is working really well so I will probably stop using the coffee table as a mini-desk now.

The one unseen element is the refrigerator. that would be located between the desk and the cupboards of the kitchen. It is just next to the coffee table, but the application for creating panoramas got a little confused and thought we had created a 360 degree picture when we only had about 270 degrees. For those curious about the refrigerator here is a link to some pictures on my Flickr page.

Now we have a complete apartment so hopefully things will begin to calm down a bit and we can start looking for some things to do on the weekend that don't involve furnishing our apartment!

Konjiam Resort

This week I went to Konjiam Resort for a conference on QoLT.

It was a beautiful resort east of Seoul were I was able to meet a lot of cool people and take a lot of pics. I posted my pics online, and hope you will enjoy them!

I'm sorry I haven't posted pics in the blog, but I am posting a link to many pictures that I have on my flickr account.

I would break the weekend into several parts.

First I had a chance to meet people at the conference, which was really nice. I was sharing a room with two Korean men, and what turned out to be interesting was they had both lived in the America; one lived in Canada, but that still counts, eh? But to make matters even more interesting they both spoke Japanese as well! It was a very interesting dinner we had.

That night I met with a couple math professors from Korea University and we all had a few drinks, sang some Karaoke and had a good time. We were out really late and I didn't realize my roommates were awake. I felt bad because I found out I had kept one guy up.

The next day the conference wrapped up, and I spent some time in the area with Gabriele and his family. We visited a small forest area with lots of sites to see. They created an interesting environment in the side of the mountain that was a lot of fun to look around. It was very fun, but difficult to push Marlen in her stroller. Please look at the photos and enjoy. I got some fantastic macro shots of dragon-flys as well as some fantastic pictures of flowers and other scenery.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Food in Seoul

I have been enjoying the food in Seoul a lot. I love Japanese food, something I learned living in Japan. Now that I am in Seoul I am realizing that I love Korean food! It is really good and filling. I can eat as much as I want and know I will be satisfied.

There area few customs I like in Korea. For one you can get as many of the side dishes that you want. Usually there is a spicy kimchee or two, and another pickled vegetable that is less spicy. If you are hungry you won't need to leave most restaurants hungry.

It is also easy to find non-korean food. I have been thinking I should create a list of non-korean food that is really good in Korea. I'm surprised at how good the fried chicken is here!

Aly and I have gone to some really nice restaurants. Here a picture from a fantastic traditional Koran place that was like walking into another world. The entire restaurant was just filled with fantastic scenery. There was a waterfall outside and live music. Everything was just great!

This restaurant was expensive, but well worth it for a great experience. We went there with Gabriele and his family. As is usually the case his daughter was the star of the evening.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Visit with Risa Rifkind

A young lady from John Hopkins University came to visit Sang-Mook today. She has been traveling the world to learn more about what it is like to have disabilities in various cities around the world. So far on this Journey she has been to London, Paris, Athens, Hong Kong, and now Seoul.

During this adventure a camera man has been following her documenting everything she does for a documentary on her quest to learn about disabilities in various cities around the world. She has also been keeping a record of her travels on her website

Risa arrived at Seoul National University around 3pm at Hoam Faculty House, so I went with Sang-Mook's assistant to meet her. We then picked her up with her camera man, and all their luggage as they had just come from the airport. We then met in Sang-Mook's office and had a chance to talk, she invited me to stay for the interview so I thought it would be nice to have front row seats for the show.

The interview was really interesting. While I have heard Sang-Mook speaking about people with disabilities in Korea many times I still find that I learn new things every time I hear him talk about his initiatives for people with disabilities and how they fit into society.

So the interview lasted about an hour, and after everything was finished she went on her way to explore the great city of Seoul. I'm looking forward to hearing about her experiences and reflections in South Korea. Her journey to look at disabilities around the world is coming to an end, but as I just heard about it so I am looking forward to reading about her experiences.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Visit from Dr. Dave Yuen

Dave Yuen came to visit Sang-Mook and the research group I am joining.
We had some good talks on the direction of computational science and computing in scientific research.
Of course we also had plenty to drink and some parties that will not be soon forgotten.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Move to Korea

I recently packed my bags and came to Korea. While here in Korea I will be a part of a research group working on diverse range of topics. I will be doing research in computational science. I will also be working with Quality of Life Technologies (QoLT).

My girlfriend was kind enough to pack her bags and follow me here as well. So here and now I will kick of my blog to catalogue some of my experiences and adventures in Korea. While doing that I am also hoping to share with people what I am doing for work and some of the impact my research group has on the community around us.